Longtime Store Owner Retiring

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BERWICK -- There's not as much merchandise as there used to be inside Dean's Aquarium and Supply in Berwick. That's because the store is going out of business at the end of this month. Owner Dean Gutman is retiring. He's been in business for a long time.

Owner Dean Gutman is retiring. He's been in business for a long time.

"50 years. Some people think I'm old enough that I must be 90 because I've been here so long," Gutman said.

He's actually 82. Gutman was born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany. His wife grew up in Berwick and the couple opened this store in 1968.

"I had people working for me, now it's me and the dog," Gutman said.

Gutman says the aquarium business isn't what it used to be, and business suffers.

"The consumers who used to buy fish are not in as deep, and the new generation to me is all electronics," Gutman said.

Gutman is no stranger to WNEP. He and many of his fish were on Hatchy Milatchy for many years.

Gutman was approached by WNEP in the 1960s about having a fish segment on Hatchy Milatchy .

"So we put fish on television every Thursday morning. A fish show, turtles or whatever," Gutman said.

Gutman worked on Hatchy Milatchy until 1982.

"Well he was a celebrity there for a while," John Bergstron said.

John Bergstron is from the Benton area and is a longtime customer.

"I'm sad to see him go. He's always been here," Bergstron said.

But Gutman is ready to retire and move to North Carolina with his wife and dog. He's having a sale at the store and will give away what he doesn't sell.

"It's called Dean's Giveaway. Whatever I throw out the window and you catch it, it's yours," Gutman said.

Dean's Aquarium and Supply closes at the end of this month.

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